Etiquette

While most of these etiquette guidelines are not enforced as rules, most seasoned players follow them subconsciously and without thinking about it. We understand that some things are not always obvious to newcomers though!

Accepted Norms

Post Formatting

  1. Space out your paragraphs. Posts containing “text walls” are very hard to read!
  2. Bold your speech! You should bold your speech — we also recommend quote marks as a part of proper grammar and for even less ambiguity. Bolded speech makes it much easier for fellow roleplayers to differentiate your character’s thoughts and speech. Additionally, this is helpful for non-participants simply curious of the general plot — these players frequently skim the important parts (speech and action) of a thread!
    • BBcode: [b]Bolded text here.[/b]
    • HTML: <strong>Bolded text here</strong>.

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Private Threads

Don’t start private threads without planning it with your intended participant.

If you have an idea for a cool thread or plot with a certain character, contact their player before starting threads for them! This helps ensure the player has time and willingness to participate. Their character may not be appropriate for your thread, or they may simply not interested. Also, don’t be offended if they decline the request; it’s probably nothing personal, and you wouldn’t want to be pressured into a thread you weren’t really interested in, would you?

Post Order

Replies in a thread should cycle through characters in the same order unless stated otherwise.

For example, if Wolf starts a thread and Coyote replies, the reply order should continue in the same order of Wolf, Coyote, Wolf, Coyote. Neither Wolf nor Coyote should ever double post. If both Coyote and Dog join Wolf’s thread, a default post order might be Wolf, Coyote, Dog, and repeat; however, depending on Wolf’s — the thread starter’s — preferences, characters may be skipped if they take too long to reply, or if they don’t have much to add during a particular turn. Ask your thread partner(s) if you’re unsure!

Reply Times

All players should strive to reply to their threads in a timely manner. Inspiration is easily lost on old threads, and a delayed response may negatively affect both you and your partner(s). Still, sometimes players’ idea of “timely” can differ. We all have different preferences when it comes to pace, and we all have different things going on outside of the game. It’s important for players to respect each other and keep these things in mind.

The median reply time is frequently between a few days to a week. If you have an idea of roughly how long it might take for you to respond to things, it’s nice to let others know before threading with them. Similarly, if you have specific preferences as to how quickly your partner responds, it’s good to mention it. This way, you both have your capabilities and expectations on the table, and there are no surprises.

  • If someone isn’t responding as quickly as you’d like, it is usually okay to send a polite note to ask what’s up. Don’t nag or guilt other players though, and keep in mind that some have a strong dislike of such “pokes” or “nudges,” so tread carefully. If it has been a very long time, you might suggest that the thread be wrapped up with an OOC conclusion.
  • If something comes up that is slowing you down, let your thread partners know!

Consent

Consent is an important concept in roleplaying. You’re not writing in a vacuum — you’re interacting with others and writing collaboratively. Players must strike a balance between personal desire and the realistic consequences of action — compromise is key.

For the most part, characters cannot be harmed without their player’s consent. However, players are expected to have good judgment and to be fair. Players getting their characters into lots of fights cannot always come out unscathed. Imagine if no one ever allowed their characters to get hurt! What a boring game that would make!

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If a character is antagonistic and makes many enemies, consequence may be inevitable. If Wolf is rude to and offends his alpha — even if the alpha cannot physically harm Wolf without his player’s permission — the alpha can banish Wolf from the pack forever. Similarly, if Wolf gets himself into a situation where he’s faced with an angry mob that wants to kill him, it is highly unrealistic for him to escape unharmed. If you really don’t want Wolf to get hurt, don’t let him get into such an ordeal in the first place!

Players should also remember to respect the wishes of others. No matter how much you want a plot to happen, no matter how much you like an idea — if other players aren’t on board with your idea, you can’t force it on them. If you really want Wolf and Coyote to have puppies, but Coyote’s player doesn’t, then sorry, you’re out of luck!

Don’t try to guilt others into things they aren’t interested in — again, you wouldn’t want others to do that to you, right?

Consequences of Actions

Characters take part in a wide variety of plots and scenarios, and often, these plots would realistically result in consequence of one sort or another. Especially when engaging in violent, dark, or otherwise villainous storylines, it’s important for players to be aware of the possible consequences of their actions. A character going around kidnapping puppies will have to answer to those puppies’ parents, families, and packmates eventually!

You don’t necessarily have to map exact consequences for your every plot, but if you know what kind of things you don’t want to happen to your character, it is a good idea to discuss possible outcomes with all players involved!

If you don’t want your serial kidnapper to get injured by vengeful parents, plot out some reasonable way for him to get away with it — perhaps he returns the pups and flees the area, or perhaps he pins the blame on someone else. While other characters technically cannot harm the kidnapper without you, his player’s, permission, you also cannot force other players to make their parent characters easily forgive his crimes. Communication and compromise are essential to good roleplaying.

Twinky-like behavior should be avoided as much as possible.

Godmoding

Godmoding is any attempt by a player at giving an advantage to their character that would not otherwise exist. This is not just bad manners — in most cases, godmoding is strictly prohibited at ‘Souls, and players caught godmoding will need to edit offending posts into compliance.

We do understand that some milder forms of godmoding can happen by mistake though, by beginners and seasoned roleplayers alike, so don’t worry — accidental godmoding will not typically get you into any trouble as long as you’re willing to correct your mistakes!

RPGuide_02Powerplaying

Powerplaying — sometimes abbreviated to “pp” — is the most common example of active godmoding and occurs when players complete actions for or make assumptions about other players’ characters without consulting them (violating consent!).

Types of powerplay include:

  • Damage powerplay is what many roleplayers think of when they hear “powerplay.” Damage-based powerplay inflicts damage on another roleplay character without the roleplayer’s permission.
  • Action powerplay is stating, completing, or otherwise interfering in any way with another character’s physical actions.
  • Assumption powerplay is when a player assumes interactions (things that aren’t roleplayed out) with other characters without consulting those characters’ players.
  • Profile powerplay is a weak and usually harmless form of powerplay wherein players dictate generalities about their character. For example, “Azazel is stunningly handsome and always makes ladies swoon, no matter how frosty their heart” or “Melody’s ‘poker face’ is completely unreadable — no one ever sees through her lies.”

Most roleplayers are typically okay with minor instances of action and assumption powerplay. For example, if you and your roleplay partner’s characters are taking a walk together and your character takes a left at the fork in the road, it’s probably not a big deal for you to assume that the other character will follow yours.

Sometimes players will make notes like “minor pp, can edit if wrong!” so others will know they’re happy to correct any wrong assumptions they make. If you’re very unsure or if it’s anything beyond a minor assumption of normal behavior, it is better to ask first!

For more information about powerplaying, please see Forum Roleplay’s guide.

Metagaming

Metagaming is the use of OOC knowledge without IC reasoning for it. Metagaming occurs when a player gives their character knowledge they cannot have obtained in the IC realm. It’s frequently akin to giving their character mind-reading abilities or god-like omniscience.

For example, Jackal and Enlil are in a thread and Jackal annoys Enlil, who doesn’t physically show his annoyance or verbally chastise Jackal, but instead simply thinks about his annoyance. If Jackal were to react to Enlil’s annoyance, that is metagaming. This can also occur if Jackal’s player were to read Enlil’s profile, derive information Enlil has not mentioned In Character, and then have Jackal use that information in some way.

A Note About NPCs

NPCs are Non-Playable Characters; they can be used for many things, such as assisting with plots, easing along character development, and just for fun!

However, NPCs should not simply be punching bags for your character; fights between any played character and an NPC should be roleplayed realistically and fairly, just like a fight between two played characters. No one character is capable of defeating everyone, and a character unrealistically winning a fight against an NPC — and especially multiple NPCs — is godmoding.

Last updated: February 11, 2015

Further Reading

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